Sometimes it is mean to be nice.

My space was too small for a sculpture; I didn’t have the stomach to make a painting so I embarked on something different. I sent an e-mail to a friend and he asked if I had ever made an artist book?
Good Idea I thought…until I started.
What a disaster.
Drawings texts jokes smears bottom line a collection of embarrassments.
The guardian angel of paper came to the rescue. She said grab your camera and take a photograph of your favorite book. I was not sure so I just did it from every angle then downloaded them into my computer. Now what?
She told me to search for a solution.
I had it! My problem was, I had written drawn scribbled ideas I never wanted anyone else to see. So I manipulated the photographs and created an image of a book with two spines.

Intuition? No I cannot believe it was that limited. I had a story to tell I just did not have enough words to do it.
Why not just one word? Words loosely related to each other telling the story of something trapped or something trying to break free.
They are hermetically sealed so you can invent your own narrative.
Keeping a secret is getting to be a more difficult task everyday. Exposing oneself seems to getting equally as popular. The bound books come directly from these two fallibilities.

The world is loud and screaming. I am also trying to make a commentary on our society that first of all feels no shame exposing oneself (Big Brother, Survivor, internet, personal websites) and second of all feels no loyalty in exposing someone else’s secrets (Clinton affair Jim and Tammy Bakker affair Gary Hart, basically any American Politician or Preacher).

A war that lasts too long is not exciting anymore. Changing pictures are required – fast cut - next scene. A movie, a video clip controlled to change sequence every 2 seconds – got to keep everybody on the edge. But what is the message? When do we get time to think about it?
We judge a book by its cover. We buy books to have them in our living rooms. We show how much we know – but how do you show what you know? Don’t you just have to know? Don’t you have to take the time and open it?
Try to find its secret. A secret that lies between the lines between the words, a secret that only comes to exist if you are willing to put the words together. Think about it. It is not loud and it only gets exciting if you let yourself in. The book you cannot open. A picture on the inside you will never see, the secret, which lies in between. Think about it. It’s exciting. It‘s loud – just not on the outside. It creates the space to explode in your mind.
Have a very close look – and let it happen.


Sometimes it is nice to be mean.


The new works are exploring further into the irony of a closed book. To coincide with a new series I have manufactured a mill. The idea for the mill (like windmill) came from the artist Rodney Graham. Rodney Graham's work has interpretted art and language with the use of looping the same passage over and over again. The mill was my way of creating an inaccessible loop.
The images that cover the surface of the mill are the reactions of people when confronted with the ironic idea of a book that cannot be opened.


The 66 books
(available)

click to see individual books
The project The 7 Sins and 7 Virtues (see books above) consists of 7 double sided bound books 100x78x8cm and 14 photographs of 7 couples tranlating the words from the seven sins and seven virtues.
Each book from the 66 book series has a corresponding silkscreen graphic. See them here
An incredible amount of information is passed down to us through books. Accurate documentation of cultural political historical and analytical information is most often conveyed through the written word.
Is the written word fair? And what about the images of our time and past?
Can an image tell the story? Is the picture that is worth a thousand words as precise as those thousand words? The answer I hope is that the image is not only more precise but more emotionally convincing.
I need but one example to support my opinion. The photographs of the mushroom shaped cloud of an atomic blast and the ensuing images of its devastation. Without those images existed the chance for the total destruction of our planet.
Why did this image work so well in stopping the demise of the human race?
Because the image is indeed interpreted with our right brain our emotional side our feminine side. By touching the core of the nurturing female we could gather the information necessary to bring about change (envision the consequence). The written word in grave contrast would have exploited the left-brains analytical power and we would have READ the situation differently. Our reading of the media reports might have convinced us that atomic bombs equals the stoppage of war. Proliferation occurred but usage stopped. The male left-brain (proliferation) met its match with the female right brain (common sense).
My book project is the binding element of the works I have created over the past 7 years. The creation of these books has conveyed similar information or learning experiences, as would a readable book.
What did I learn? What can a viewer learn?
The first realization was a book with two spines is a wonderful metaphor for man and woman. This consciousness led to the before mentioned tale of the contrasting effects of word and image. The quicker to become literate male species wrote the laws others were intended to follow. Women were absent from the decision making process and the evidence is visible in the interpretation of following of any world religion.
The timeline from Goddess to hunted witch can be drawn adjacent to the developments in writing and printing. As men learned to read and write a woman’s position in society was compromised and the chances for equality diminished. The mass production of books and words through the invention of the printing press marked (allowed) the lowest point in our evolution (or social development)… the witch hunts.
What was the turning point? Did we run out of women threatening enough (analytical or beautiful women were primary targets)?
Why write a book? To warehouse words?
My books warehouse images; each book contains a secret photograph.
The emancipation of women started only after the invention of photography. Photography added the image back into our homes. A contemporary cave drawing the photograph was able to elevate through right brain activity the status of women. Signs and symbols paint our landscape of understanding.

I believe the power of the written word prevails, stopping us from creating an equal playing field. I chose to work with the book to explore these topics and investigate this force.




List of book titles

   

Accident
Answer
Anticipate
Beg
Blame
Buried
Censure
Chastity
Closure
Control
Conviction
Corruption
Defect
Delusion
Devotion
Discipline
Enslavement
Expectation
Expire
Faith
Fascinate
Fault
Faux pas
Guilt
Habit
Hope
Imprison
Insinuate
Judgment
Kept
Lecture
Manipulate
Mistake
 
Neglect
Nothing

Obscure
Oppress
Prejudice
Prohibit
Punishment
Query
Restraint
Sentence
Taboo
Tease
Torment
Trust
Urge
Verdict
Vice
Victim
Virgin
Virtue
Void
Vow
Will
Wish
Work
Worship
Wrap
XXX
Yearn
Yield
Zeal
Zero
Zip
click to go to the video observation (spy movie)
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